Area volleyball teams are looking ahead to the final stretch of the 2017 season, adjusting course where necessary and setting sites on accomplishing year-end goals.
“I’m particularly pleased and proud with the leadership our seniors have shown,” said Woodstock North High School head coach Eric Schulze. “They have set the tone for allowing the program to have a culture shift and have been instrumental in how they go about that in practice every day. They’re setting an unbelievable example for the younger players.”
Leading the Thunder on the stat sheet has been sophomore Brooke Amann. Amann has been putting up some of the top numbers in the area, according to Schulze, and is leading the team in attempts. On Sept. 27, she recorded 19 kills in a three-set match, 12 against Harvard, 14 against Marengo and 17 against Woodstock.
“She’s been in double digits in every Kishwaukee River Conference match this season,” added Schulze.
The senior leadership combined with Amann’s prowess has been a welcome force for the Thunder, who have otherwise struggled in wins this season, particularly after losing senior Ally Spitson to injury on opening night. The Thunder hope that she will be recovered enough from ACL-surgery to attend senior night with the team against Johnsburg Wednesday, Oct. 4.
But Schulze and the team remain hopeful that, behind the up-and-coming support of junior Lauren Kunke at libero, junior Grace Huelsman and senior Sami Long, the march to the post season will continue to translate to wins.
“There hasn’t been a match that we haven’t given ourselves a chance to win; we’ve just come up on the short end of the stick,” said Schulze. “We haven’t let go or given up. We wanted immediate results, but the process is real and taking time.”
In addition to a senior night matchup against Johnsburg this week, the Thunder (10-10 overall, 2-5 KRC) travel to Huntley for back-to-back nonconference matchups Oct. 6 and 7.
At Marian Central, the Hurricanes are holding at a solid 12-10 overall and 2-2 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
“The team is working hard and making the necessary adjustments for every competitor we face,” said head coach Patty Brummond in an email. “We have a very tough schedule and that’s great preparation for the post season.”
“Senior Kate Messino has been running offense with many options in senior Mae Novakoski and juniors Issy Nick, Rachel Graham and Lilli Leggett,” said Brummond, also noting sophomore Gabby Davis, already in her second varsity season, providing a strong presence in the middle.
The Hurricanes will host their Play for Pink/Coaches versus Cancer match against Nazareth at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3. Marian’s senior night will take place against Marist at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17.
The Woodstock High School Blue Streaks (3-9 overall; 1-6 KRC) recently suffered a loss to Richmond-Burton (25-22, 24-26, 15-13) in the Hampshire Tournament. The team defeated Harvard (25-13, 25-10) for their sole conference win of the season so far. The Streaks will travel to KRC rival Johnsburg for a 6:30 p.m. match Tuesday, Oct. 3. The team will host cross-town rival North at Shipley Gym at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10.